ETTE TEA X MessyMsxi , SingaPlural 2017
Beauty in the Vernacular
As ETTE TEA and I reflect on our philosophies, we discovered our common ground in the appreciation for the vernacular.
From our conversations, I learnt that Pandan, a plant that is indigenous to the region around Southeast Asia, is a favoured ingredient of choice in ETTE TEA’s tea blends. Instinctively it led me to think of how else this ordinary plant can be used for the installation.
For our tea house installation, we are using Pandan leaves as a key material to construct the artwork. We are using the leaves in their organic forms to create a canopy. The leaves will hang down vertically and create quiet undulating waves. Through the use of fresh pandan leaves we hope the space will be infused with a light pandan aroma adding a sensorial note to the installation.
No. 835, Seri Kaya
The Beau-tea in the Vernacular for Singaplural 2017 is ETTE TEA’s newest creation - No. 835, Seri Kaya. Crafted out of Founder Victor Koh’s insatiable thirst for the aromatic Pandan, Seri Kaya is a blend of Japanese sencha, black tea, pandan leaves and coconut pieces.
The packaging label is designed by MessyMsxi. She went islandwide picking twigs and weathered leaves that we frequently overlook in our daily lives to give them a new beauty and purpose.
Seri Kaya (its namesake) is originally a coconut jam concocted by combining coconut, eggs, sugar and pandan leaves. Literally, Kaya means rich in Bahasa Melayu referring to the custard-like texture of the spread. Kaya is typically enjoyed with toast and a Teh Tarik or Kopi.
Pandan leaves has been one of Victor’s favourite ingredients in tea blending with Seri Kaya being ETTE TEA’s 6th Pandan edition.
Singapore-born, London-trained, MessyMsxi is the moniker of artist Tan Zi Xi. Since graduating in 2009 with an honours degree in Graphic Design (Illustration Major) from Central Saint Martins, Zi Xi has gone on to carve out a reputation for herself as an illustrator.
Zi Xi was conferred “New Talent of Year 2010” in the London International Creative Competition for her seminal series Ten Years of Work for Every Minute on Stage. She won “The Hedwig Anuar Children’s Book Award 2013” for her illustrations in Where's Grandma? In the same year, Zi Xi won the “Most Inspiring Award” in Singapore Women’s Weekly’s “Great Women of Our Time 2013”. Her most recent accolade is a prestigious Gold from the Singapore Creative Circle Awards 2015 for her animation piece, dododo, commissioned by UNTITLED Japan.
Zi Xi constantly seeks new ways to express herself—exploring media and forms outside her comfort zone. Always striving for meaning in her work, she pushes beyond the decorative into the narrative, ranging from personal views of subjects close to her heart to acute commentaries on larger social issues.
SingaPlural is a design festival that showcases the best design elements from a multi-faceted creative spectrum – architecture, interior, furniture, urban planning, landscape architecture, as well as visual communications and fashion design.
The festival theme of ‘Stories – A New Perspective’ expresses and celebrates the narratives of creatives and encourages the creation of new stories in each individual and collaboration, shared with the audience.